E-commerce behemoth Amazon launched Handmade today, a platform for independent artisans to showcase and sell their handcrafted products. More than 80,000 listings already populate the storefront across four main categories: jewelry, home & kitchen, baby, and lighting. “We know you’re an expert in your craft, and deserve a place to tell your story,” says Amazon in their promotional video launched this past June.
Etsy, the premiere person-to-person e-commerce site for vintage and handmade goods since its launch in 2005, has dominated the not-so-niche-anymore market for artisanally crafted goods. Etsy allows anyone to set up a shop wherein listings cost a small fee and expire after four months. Conversely, Amazon is curating their selection through an application process, allows you to list as many items as you’d like for free, and then takes a 12% fee from sales. Amazon Handmade listings never expire. Otherwise, the setup closely mirrors Etsy: purveyors set up profile pages where they can describe their process, with associated product pages featuring each of their goods.
Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson is confident in the solid foundation Etsy has laid over the last ten years. “Etsy has a decade of experience understanding the needs of artists and sellers and supporting them in ways that no other marketplace can. Our platform attracts 21+ million thoughtful consumers seeking to discover unique goods, and build relationships with the people who make and sell them,” he told USA Today.
Handmade is not the first niche marketplace that Amazon has recently launched; Amazon Home Services as well as their Collectibles and Fine Art platform demonstrate Amazon’s mission to become the world’s one-stop shop.
Amazon’s move to launch an Etsy-esque platform reflects a trend that many in the Maker Movement already live and breathe: cheaper and more accessible digital fabrication tools have heralded the growing popularity of DIY goods, a trend that has caused the 21st century consumer market to ebb away from mass-produced products.
Interested Makers can apply to sell via Amazon’s online application.